Monday, 22 July 2013

Little Gamer Update: Locking down the Xbox


So, I have a new dilemma... Eldest daughter, Betsy-Lou has been continuing her journey into the wonderful world of gaming. She has started playing Minecraft and for the first time she is addicted. All she talks about is Minecraft, what she is going to do in it, when she is going to do it, when can she next play it, you get the picture. So I am caught between letting her play a game that has harnessed her creativity and imagination and her real life obligations like homework and helping to tidy up her mess around the house. This has caused a few arguments already and it has lead me to something I would never ever do.

I have enabled the Family timer on the Xbox!

The parental settings on the Xbox 360 are full of nice little features that help you as a parent control what your child plays, what advertising they see and also how long they can spend on it. Do parents know that it is there? but also how to to use it to their advantage? Lets take a look at how easy it is to get this working on your Xbox 360 system.

First of all, turn on the Xbox (well, Duh!) and scroll to the settings menu at the far right of the menu (see below). Move down and select the Family tile.


Now you can turn on the console safety. When this is turned on you will need to configure a pin code, via the controller to act as an overide. Once this is done you can start configuring the level of access you want your kids to have.


First, of all go into Ratings and content and select the game rating (based on Pegi ratings) you want to allow your kids to play. Currently, I have allowed content up to PG to be played and no Explict content to be shown on any other service.


The main thing for me to use this was to set a time limit on how much the Xbox gets used. You can set a weekly limit or daily limit. I chose a daily limit of 30 minutes per day. Once this is set and the time runs out, the parent can decide to top up the time in increments of 5 minutes if they choose to.


Simple eh! It has stopped the fighing over Minecraft to a certain degree. At least now she can't just sit there for hours not doing her homework.


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